The Burford Branch

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martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:45 pm

Various buildings in and around the former terminus were put to a variety of industrial uses after its closure in 1962, but the site was later cleared entirely, and a housing estate now stands on the site. The blanket mill, brewery and gasworks are also no more.

A visitor to the town would be forgiven for thinking that the station never existed.
Last edited by martin goodall on Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:04 pm

I suppose the time has come to own up. Although the scenario for the Burford Branch is based fairly closely on the real railway history of the 1860s (apart from the fact that the line didn’t actually get built), I have taken advantage of a rather large helping of Modeller’s Licence in locating the station within the town itself.

The Gloucester, Cheltenham and Oxford Direct Railway was planned (as its name implies) to create a through route between Oxford and Cheltenham. One of these fine days I really must take the time to go the Gloucester Records Office to look at the deposited plans, although it is pretty obvious where the line would have gone in the vicinity of Burford. On approaching Burford from Minster Lovell, the line would have kept to the north bank of the River Windrush, with a station north of Burford bridge, close to the road junction where the roads to Stow-on-the-Wold and to Chipping Norton diverge. The line would then have continued towards Northleach, still on the north bank of the river.

The Bill for the GC&OD was deposited in the 1864 parliamentary session. I have assumed that the company got its Act that summer, but that construction was delayed by lack of capital. Lacking the cash to let a contract for the whole route, the company eventually started work on the easy part of the route, building the line westwards along the valley of the Windrush from Witney. Then in 1866, Overend & Gurney, a bank that was heavily involved in financing railway construction, failed. The result was a banking crisis, credit crunch and economic recession. [Who says history doesn’t repeat itself?] Work on the GC&OD came to a sudden halt, but after this initial hiatus it was decided to finish the largely completed works on the eastern part of the line and to open it as far as Burford, with a view to resuming construction of the remainder of the route when the financial situation improved. But in the event, the line was never extended beyond Burford.

The Burford Branch opened in 1867 (effectively as an extension of the Witney Railway) and closed 95 years later in June 1962.

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Paul Townsend
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby Paul Townsend » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:21 pm

martin goodall wrote:I suppose the time has come to own up.


Models built on " should have been" are great opportunities to combine the vernacular with your imagination.

Anyone suggesting that my model of Dartmouth in 1875 falls into that category clearly has not read the right history books.

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:33 pm

I have no conscience about the overall historical scenario. It is the actual location of the terminus at Burford that is implausible.

The GC&ODR was proposed in 1864, as stated, but the Bill got thrown out. I am happy to pretend otherwise, and the financial crash of 1866 provides a convenient excuse for the termination of the line at Burford.

However, with all the work involved in creating the townscape, I have wished more than once that I had chosen to site the terminus in the 'correct' location outside the town, with only the church spire visible on the backscene above the trees!

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Le Corbusier
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby Le Corbusier » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:47 pm

martin goodall wrote: I have wished more than once that I had chosen to site the terminus in the 'correct' location outside the town, with only the church spire visible on the backscene above the trees!
... but hopefully never seriously ;) Rumour has it that Michel Angelo wished more than once he had never started the Sistene Ceiling :thumb
Tim Lee

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:24 pm

I have finally finished the model of the Old Malt Kiln, which completes the group of buildings around the brewery yard.

Old Kiln 1.jpg


Old Kiln 2.jpg
[The shadow thrown on the backscene by the roof and roof vent of the kiln will be ‘caught’ by a low relief tree which I shall plant later.]

I had hesitated over the roof because I was uncertain how to portray the Cotswold stone roof slates. I certainly had no intention of emulating Pendon Museum’s methods, and adding individual slates to the roof! (As always, my intention was only to create “an artist’s impression”.) I eventually decided to use hand-made rag paper to make a kind of bespoke building paper. This seemed to give the right sort of texture. I coloured it with a watercolour wash and then pencilled in the slates, starting with faintly ruled lines to keep everything straight. Finally, using a 4H or 6H pencil free-hand, I indented the paper with the slate courses, which on a limestone-tiled roof are progressively smaller as you go up the roof. The lower edge of the slate paper was nicked to represent the rough edges and corners of the bottom row of slates.

I used the same paper to represent ridge tiles, which may not be strictly prototypical, but is in line with my generally ‘impressionistic’ approach to model-making. The join between the roof and the roof vent seems to have been a rather untidy mortar fillet, which I represented with DAS, having taken the precaution of smearing some Evostik on the joint first to make sure that the DAS would stay put when it dried.

Old Kiln 3.jpg


The next photo shows the whole of the group of buildings on which I have been working over the last year or so, and the final photo shows these models in context on the layout. There are still one or two buildings to add to the brewery complex, at the left-hand end. These will be dealt with later. (But there are still a lot of other buildings awaiting construction!)

Old Kiln 4.jpg


Old Kiln 5.jpg

It occurs to me that these photos are also the first to show the completed roofs of the Bottling Hall and the brewery offices at the back of the layout. Rather than applying laser-cut slate strips, I used embossed styrene sheets from SE Finecast in this case to represent the Welsh slate, having seen this material illustrated in S4 News. (Unfortunately, I don’t have a note of the catalogue number, but I assume that it is probably “FBS415 Slate”.)

Alan Woodard
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby Alan Woodard » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:21 pm

Looks stunning Martin. love how it blends in with the back scene. :thumb

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Serjt-Dave
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby Serjt-Dave » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:48 pm

I always become so relaxed when I look at this layout, and also a bit thirsty. Excellent work there Martin.

Dave

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RobM
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby RobM » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:11 am

A wonderful sense of depth Martin.
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Updated December 2016

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:34 pm

Thanks for the kind remarks.

I set out right from the start with the intention of achieving an illusion of distance or depth. This was done, not only by keeping the colours on the backscene very light (and even lighter towards the horizon), but also by ensuring that the buildings (and particularly their roofs) next to the backscene are much lighter in colour than those nearer the front of the layout. I also decided that I would reduce surface detail and texture on those models compared with the ones that are right at the front. The idea is to produce a gradual reduction in colour and texture the further back the models stand in the overall scene. I had two or three goes at the roof of the Old Malt Kiln before I was satisfied that I had got the tone more or less right. The first was just an experiment. The second attempt was the right colour for well-weathered limestone slates, but it was too dark in that location, and so I had a third go at it with another piece of the rag paper and gave this one a lighter wash of watercolour.

It was the idea of reducing texture and detail towards the back of the layout that led me to pencil the windows on the rearmost buildings, rather than modelling them in the orthodox manner. I think this more or less works, although one possible exception is the brewery office building, where the front-facing windows look a bit too flat to me. I might decide to change the windows on this building.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:03 pm

When I posted photos of the old malt kiln the other day, I had also intended to post a couple of photos of the prototype on which the model is based. The black and white photo below was taken in 1977, after Garne’s Brewery in Burford had closed, but the site was still being used as a distribution depot by Wadworth’s Brewery. My model was based (loosely) on this and a couple of other photos that I took at the same time.

Old Malt Kiln 1977 (edit).jpg


The other two photos were taken within the past couple of years. The lead flashing seen in these shots is rather anachronistic, and does not reflect traditional practice in the construction of Cotswold stone roofs.

Garne's recent - 1 (edit).jpg


I took this shot to show the detail of the limestone slates, but it also points up the problem faced by anyone attempting to model one of these roofs. Hence my decision to produce no more than an artist’s impression of the roof.

Garne's recent - 2 (edit).jpg

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:22 pm

Work in progress

This is the latest model on the workbench, which is now moving towards completion. It is called (rather prosaically) “Corner Cottage”, because it stands in the corner of the layout beyond the Old Malt Kiln.

I hope to be able to post photos of the completed model in position on the layout in a few weeks.

1053 (Edit).jpg


1054 (Edit).jpg

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RobM
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby RobM » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:42 pm

Martin, some very interesting textures on the stone work.....
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martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:25 pm

The apparent texture of the stonework is partly explained by the lighting (which came from a nearby desk lamp). The actual material is Wills 'lime washed stone' scenic sheet (SS MP 215). I have used the same material for quite a few other buildings on the layout, which have been illustrated previously in this thread. It can be used to represent a wide variety of building stone laid as coursed rubble.

It has the advantage of being moulded in white styrene, and so can easily be painted any suitable colour. Its other advantage is that being rigid, and about 1.5 mm thick, it needs no bracing or other reinforcement.

I use artist's acrylics for colouring the stonework. These paints adhere well to plastic. The colours I use to represent Cotswold stone (Oolitic limestone) are the same that I used when painting the backscene - Raw Sienna, Cobalt Blue and Titanium White (with the white being the major component in the mix). I find that using a soft nylon brush (e.g. 'Dalon') gives a smoother texture to the paint than the more traditional hogshair brushes.

After an initial coat of acrylic has dried, I dry brush slight variants of these colours over the surface to provide some variation, sometimes just applying Raw Sienna by itself. This is quite a transparent pigment, so will only produce a light stain effect, and if lightly dry brushed over the surface will be deposited only on the high points of the rough surface. There's nothing scientific about this; I just mess about with the paint until I get the effect I want.

On the brewery maltings illustrated some weeks ago, I later applied real soot with a stiff brush, to provide additional weathering, but the cottage seen here, which will be located towards the back of the layout, doesn't need this extra treatment. (This is part of the concept of 'aerial perspective' or perspective in colour' which I have explained previously.)

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RobM
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby RobM » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:38 am

Martin, do you have Buff Titanium in your palette? I find it more subtle and warmer than Titanium White.
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martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:57 am

No, I haven't come across Buff Titanium. I must try it.

I'll pop into the art shop at the weekend and have a look for it.

One thing I have discovered is that the same pigment doesn't necessarily behave the same way in different media. When I applied a thin wash of Raw Sienna watercolour to the paper I am now using for Cotswold stone slates, it came out with a distinct reddish tinge (even when mixed with another colour), whereas there is no hint of red in Raw Sienna when it comes in the form of artist's acrylic. I had got used to regarding the acrylic version of Raw Sienna as basically a yellow hue, or brown when used in a stronger mix.

I have had much greater difficulty in matching colours in watercolour than I do when using artist's acrylics. The only explanation that occurs to me is that one lightens artist's acrylics by the use of white, whereas watercolour is diluted simply by adding more water. One can add white to watercolour, but then it becomes body colour and loses its natural transparency.

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RobM
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby RobM » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:32 pm

martin goodall wrote:No, I haven't come across Buff Titanium. I must try it.

I'll pop into the art shop at the weekend and have a look for it.


In the Daler Rowney Artists' Acrylics it is also known as unbleached titanium white. It works well for producing warm greys by either adding black or the artist alternative of Cobalt/Ultramarine and Burnt Umber/Burnt Sienna mix.

martin goodall wrote:One thing I have discovered is that the same pigment doesn't necessarily behave the same way in different media. When I applied a thin wash of Raw Sienna watercolour to the paper I am now using for Cotswold stone slates, it came out with a distinct reddish tinge (even when mixed with another colour), whereas there is no hint of red in Raw Sienna when it comes in the form of artist's acrylic. I had got used to regarding the acrylic version of Raw Sienna as basically a yellow hue, or brown when used in a stronger mix.

I have had much greater difficulty in matching colours in watercolour than I do when using artist's acrylics. The only explanation that occurs to me is that one lightens artist's acrylics by the use of white, whereas watercolour is diluted simply by adding more water. One can add white to watercolour, but then it becomes body colour and loses its natural transparency.


As a semi retired artist who has worked in watercolour, oils, acrylics and since the 1990's egg tempera I do appreciate the varying foibles of the various mediums. Since working in tempera and dealing with raw pigments to make my paint colour mixing was a doddle and consistent and I did stick to a limited palette as I still do. See my website (link below)......
Rob
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Updated December 2016

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:50 pm

Egg tempera is one medium I don't feel inclined to try. It strikes me as a bit too difficult for an amateur artist like me. I am confident in the use of artist's acrylics, and have also mastered soft pastels, although the latter is not a medium I would attempt to use in model-making. I must have another go at oils (although not on the layout), but I found that they took ages to dry, which is why I took up acrylics instead.

I have only used watercolours on the layout in the context of limestone slates, applied to hand-made rag paper. I can't remember if I have mentioned it before, but the technique I use for laying a watercolour wash is "wet-into-wet'", wetting the paper all over with a flat 1-inch watercolour brush before applying the watercolour wash with the same brush. (As a professional artist, I appreciate that Rob is well aware of all this, but other members may not be aware of these artistic techniques.)

Finally, on restricting one's palette, Rob and I are in complete agreement. If you use too many colours, at best what you get is a sort of Technicolor (although the Pre-Raphaelites seem to have got away with it); at worst the result is just muddy.

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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:47 am

I bought a tube of Buff Titanium (unbleached titanium white) last week, from the Rowney 'Cryla' range.

I was interested to see that the French name given to this colour is "Beige", which seems to be a good description.

I probably won't have the opportunity to use it for some time, as there are no more buildings on the layout awaiting painting at the moment (but plenty more awaiting constructional completion! - so it will definitely get used in due course).

At the moment, I am still working on the roof of the cottage shown here the other day.

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:11 pm

I have now completed the cottage that was shown sitting on the workbench on 8 March.

The roofing material is the same as that used on the Old Malt Kiln.

Corner 1.jpg
Corner 1.jpg (216.23 KiB) Viewed 3152 times


Corner 2.jpg


Corner 3.jpg

The shadow thrown on the backscene by the roof vent atop the Old Malt Kiln will be caught by a low relief tree that I shall plant later.

This cottage is in fact a half-relief model, which is cut in half diagonally to fit against the backscene.

Notice that I don't bother to model the backs of buildings, and their roofs, if these can't be seen from any normal viewing angle. This shot also shows that the fit of the jig-saw pieces that go to make up the scene is less than perfect, but this again cannot normally be seen

Corner 4.jpg

Rather than attempting to cut a whitemetal casting of a chimney pot in half and perching this precariously on top of the chimney, I decided to cut out and paint a chimney-pot-shaped piece of paper instead, and to stick this to the backscene. It seems to work from a visual point of view. [The secret is to paint it so as to look three-dimensional (highlighted on one side and shaded on the other.]

Corner 5.jpg

I have pencilled in the outline of the shadow of the backscene as a guide to the area which will need to be covered by the foliage of the tree when this is added to the scene.

It is tempting to carry on with the other vernacular buildings at this end of the layout, but before doing so I want to complete the final detailing of the Station Building and Train Shed, and complete the iron fencing around the platform (plus other platform details).

And so it goes on (and on, and…………………)

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RobM
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby RobM » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:43 pm

martin goodall wrote:
This cottage is in fact a half-relief model, which is cut in half diagonally to fit against the backscene.

I did the same on Mount Woodville, fun guesstimating the roof angles to butt up as close as possible to the back scene.

martin goodall wrote:Notice that I don't bother to model the backs of buildings, and their roofs, if these can't be seen from any normal viewing angle. This shot also shows that the fit of the jig-saw pieces that go to make up the scene is less than perfect, but this again cannot normally be seen


I'm guilty of that, even to the extent of only weathering and numbering locos and wagons on one side but beware of our esteemed editor who managed to take photos way beyond the normal viewing angle of Marston Brewery.

martin goodall wrote:Rather than attempting to cut a whitemetal casting of a chimney pot in half and perching this precariously on top of the chimney, I decided to cut out and paint a chimney-pot-shaped piece of paper instead, and to stick this to the backscene. It seems to work from a visual point of view. [The secret is to paint it so as to look three-dimensional (highlighted on one side and shaded on the other.)


And it is convincing.
Overall, a really good feeling of depth. Would love to see it in the flesh......
Rob
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Updated December 2016

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:02 pm

Thanks again, Rob.

As I explained recently, the Burford Branch is too big and heavy to be transported to exhibitions, so it will never appear in public. I believe very strongly that exhibition layouts should be designed for that purpose right from the outset, whereas this layout was designed solely as a home-based layout.

Visitors are usually welcome by arrangement, but the layout's current home is "subject to an element of refurbishment" (!) which makes it difficult to entertain visitors at present. The layout is likely to move house again (its fourth house move) within the next year, possibly even within the next few months, and it may not be re-erected immediately on arrival in its new home as I shall take the opportunity to do various electrical work and make other adjustments while the underside of the baseboards is easily accessible.

In the meantime, I am continuing to work on buildings and scenery and will carry on with this until the time comes to pack the layout up for its expected move. I will post details of further progress.

essdee
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby essdee » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:44 pm

The dismantling and move sounds potentially daunting Martin; very best wishes that it all goes smoothly - your thread here maintains a very high standard of inspiration. Hope you are able to keep up the lovely work without too much distraction and interruption.

All best,

Steve

martin goodall
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby martin goodall » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:08 pm

Thanks, Steve.

I have compiled a detailed manual for dismantling and re-assembling the layout, based on previous experience. The last occasion was about 12 years ago, when the layout had to be taken down to enable the railway room to be redecorated.

The time-consuming process is emptying all the other contents of the railway room before disassembling the layout. That part of the exercise can take up to a week - it's like emptying Tutankhamen's tomb!

Actually taking the layout itself down only takes about 3 - 4 hours, and the baseboards are then bolted together for transport.

However, this still lies in the future, at some indeterminate date, and I hope to keep the momentum going in the meantime. At least I hope to avoid having to put the layout in a warehouse for several months as I did in one earlier house move.

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RobM
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Re: The Burford Branch

Postby RobM » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:31 am

martin goodall wrote:Thanks again, Rob.

As I explained recently, the Burford Branch is too big and heavy to be transported to exhibitions, so it will never appear in public.


Ah, remember reading that now.
Good luck with the move.... :thumb
Rob
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Updated December 2016


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